A 10-man Mohun Bagan inched closer towards a second title with a convincing 3-1 victory over Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC in Imphal on Sunday.
Spaniard Fran Gonzalez scored his 10th goal of the season, converting a penalty successfully, to go on top of the scoring charts, while compatriot Joseba Beitia and Senegalese striker Baba Diawara also found the net for the runaway league leaders. All the four goals came in the first half with Nigerian Joel Sunday getting one back for the home side.
This was Bagan’s seventh win on the trot and extends their unbeaten run to 12 games. It also takes them to 35 points after 14 games, helping to open up a healthy 13-point advantage over second-placed Punjab FC. TRAU, with 16 points from 15 games, remain locked in a relegation battle with city rivals Neroca FC and neighbours Aizawl FC.
Bagan’s next two matches are at home versus Chennai City FC (on Thursday) and Aizawl FC (on March 10), respectively. If they win both their matches then they would be crowned champions with 41 points. Churchill Brothers can get a maximum of 41 points, but Bagan would still be the winners thanks to better goal difference.
Bagan took an early lead when Komron Tursunov was adjudged to have been tripped inside the box by Dhanchandra Meetei. Gonzalez converted the resultant penalty with consummate ease.
In the 22nd minute, Dhanachandra passed the ball to Beitia just outside the TRAU box on the Bagan left flank. As Nongdamba Naorem made a dummy run to his left, Beitia played a wall-pass with Suhair to his right to get closer to the box.